Tuesday 11 June 2019 6:30 am

Ramen chain Tonkotsu eyes expansion with YFM backing


Jess Clark is a City A.M. news reporter covering private equity and investment.

Jess Clark is a City A.M. news reporter covering private equity and investment.

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Ramen restaurant Tonkotsu has received £5m of funding from investment firm YFM Equity Partners as it eyes expansion.

YFM will take a minority stake in the Japanese-inspired restaurant chain as it expands its presence in London.

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The group will open restaurants in Peckham and Shoreditch this year. Tonkotsu currently has nine London venues and one in Birmingham.

Emma Reynolds and Ken Yamada founded the chain in London seven years ago. The business is now led by managing director Stephen Evans with input from its founders.

“The casual dining sector is experiencing some well documented issues, but the partnership with YFM is proof that well-run brands with a distinct and value led offering continue to attract investment,” Evans said.

“This is an exciting time for us. Our financial performance over the last 12 months has been strong, and this additional investment from YFM will allow us to continue to grow and bring our ramen to a greater audience.”

Entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den star Sarah Willingham will chair the business.

Read more: Top UK restaurants fall to £82m loss

She said: “I love the culture and look forward to working with Emma, Ken and the highly-motivated management team, lead by Stephen.”

Leeds-headquartered YFM invested £3m in cafe chain Friska in 2017. Other investments in the consumer market include Go Outdoors and Gil Marine.


TLT gave legal advice to YFM on the deal. Tonkotsu’s advice was provided by Will Baxter, DSW, Grant Thornton and Field Fisher.

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